LONDON (AP)—Vitali Klitschko wants everyone to stop worrying about his age. The heavyweight champion says he’s in great shape and feels far younger than 40 years old.
And he promises that all his experience will be put to use against Britain’s Dereck Chisora in their WBC title fight next month when he looks to maintain his family’s domination of the division.super bowl jersey
Klitschko is the second-oldest boxer to hold a world heavyweight title behind George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to reclaim the WBA belt in Las Vegas in 1994.
The 27-year-old Chisora will be relying on his agility and quick hands to get inside the Ukrainian’s massive reach in hopes of springing a big upset in Munich on Feb. 18.
Klitschko has encountered few problems defending his title seven times since winning it back in 2008 and has been tested in 15 world title fights.
“I’m going to have to prove not just my boxing skills but my age against Dereck,” Klitschko said at a news conference Monday. “I am 40 but I feel 25. I am in great condition, great form and have great experience.
“The main thing in life is experience, in all jobs and also in boxing. I have defended my title against many styles. I don’t want to break the record of George Foreman, but 40 isn’t old. I’ll show that.”
Klitschko, a winner of 43 of his 45 fights, and brother Wladimir have held all the heavyweight belts between them since the younger sibling defeated David Haye on points in July last year to add the Briton’s WBA belt to his IBF and WBO crown.
Chisora, who has won 15 of his 17 fights, said the division had became stale during the Klitschkos’ era of dominance.
“Everybody’s tired of you and your brother,” Chisora said. “There’s no excitement in the ring. It’s time for the new king. People want a new relief in boxing. Him and his brother have killed the sport I love.”
Chisora was scheduled to fight Wladimir last year but the Ukrainian twice pulled out because of injury.
The Briton has earned another shot at a world belt despite losing his last two fights, to compatriot Tyson Fury to cost him his Commonwealth and British titles and then to Finland’s Robert Helenius in Helsinki in a European heavyweight title bout.
Vitali Klitschko is among those who say Chisora was unfortunate to lose against Helenius.
“Many people say the fights of the Klitschko brothers are boring. That’s because we win,” Vitali said. “We need to fight someone who can beat us. I think Dereck can do that.
“He beat Robert Helenius. He beat a future world champion. Can he beat a real world champion? I have studied him very well and I know the fight will be interesting. For the crowd and for me.”
The criticism of the scoring of the Helenius-Chisora bout preceded the furor surrounding last month’s light welterweight fight between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan in Washington.
Khan lost his IBF and WBA belts to the American on a split decision after being docked two points for pushing. The Briton has raised questions about the legitimacy of Peterson’s victory, making an appeal to the IBF.
The WBA, meanwhile, is studying images of an unidentified man Khan has accused of interfering with the judges and leaning over a WBA supervisor during the fight. Chisora’s promoter, Frank Warren, insists on neutral judges and officials at the Olympiahalle in Munich.
“We’ve seen controversial thincheap jersey
gs happen in these fights,” Warren told The Associated Press. “I don’t want any German officials, any British officials— everything to be absolutely neutral.”